BANGKOK — Thai politics is as cut-throat as Westeros politicking, Future Forward leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit said at a Friday night event where he discussed the popular HBO series “Game of Thrones.”
Despite the downpour, hundreds of fah crammed into a bookstore in Khlong San to hear the chairman of Future Forward Party, a casual bookworm, dissect post-election politics through the lens of the Westeros power struggle.
“The politics I’ve seen over the two months since the election is no better than the Game of Thrones,” Thanathorn said.
When asked to compare himself to Sansa Stark, who emerged as a queen after enduring tribulations as a political bargaining chip, Thanthorn said, “We’ve seen a middle-sized party get everything after the election, all because of its compelling political drive.”
For the Future Forward Party leader, Westeros is reminiscent of Thai politics in that both religion (the High Sparrow, the Old Gods) and capital (the Iron Bank) are embroiled in political disputes.
“When thinking about politics [and religion], Paiboon Nititawan and his campaign tagline to humbly receive Lord Buddha’s teachings might spring to mind. The politics [of religion] should be pure like the High Sparrow,” Thanathorn said. “But we all know that politicians are ordinary people, and eventually we all have our goods and bad sides.”
Thanathorn’s wishful ending for the series reflects the policy platform Future Forward ran on in the March election. The party has backed further provincial decentralization, while military reform and the abolition of conscription were among the main pillars of Thanathorn’s election campaign.
“I want to see the seven kingdoms autonomous from each other,” Thanathorn described his ideal finale. “All the armies should be abolished, so there is no more killing.”
The series “Game of Thrones” is based on the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series of novels by George R. R. Martin, in which the seven kingdoms of Westeros struggle over the Iron Throne.
Thanathorn struggled to choose his favourite character in the series, though noted Tyrion’s resourcefulness.
“I like Tyrion Lannister because of his intelligence and satirical jokes. He has the best banter in the series,” Thanathorn said.
Arya Stark, Samwell Tarly, and Bronn also made it onto his list.
“Human bravery can come in many forms,” Thanathorn said, referring to Samwell Tarly. “You don’t have to be like Jon Snow, picking up swords against the monsters. [Samwell] has his bravery, like when he cured Jorah Mormont. If you’ve got a nasty disease [the skin-flaking ‘Greyscale’] like that, I wouldn’t dare to touch it.”